Bernstein Seminar
You have a new invitation for the Bernstein Seminar on 19 June 2018!

June 19, 2018

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Nonlinear Dynamics Groups

Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen

Tuesday, 19 June 2018


17:15 h


vCal iCal


Lecture Hall (ground floor)
Bernstein Center Freiburg
Hansastraße 9a
79104 Freiburg


Hosted by Samora Okujeni

Key-innovations in the circuit design of visual cortex

The network structure of neuronal circuits determines their function as information-processing devices analyzing sensory information and generating behavior. In mammals, neocortical circuits have been (re-)shaped by evolution during the past 205 million years by two key innovations in forebrain architecture: With the emergence of mammals from mammal-like reptiles the forebrain mantle was transformed to modern neocortex and acquired a topographic and “modular” input organization. With the rise of modern mammals after the KPg extinction of non-avian dinosaurs, neocortex expanded strongly in many mammalian lineages and e.g. in the visual cortex transformed anatomical cortical columns into functional modules. A paradigmatic example are functional orientation columns in the visual cortex. Systems of functional orientation columns connected through long-range intra-cortical circuits evolved independently in several lineages and converged to a unique design characterized by indistinguishable and quantitatively precise layout laws. How did these evolutionary transitions in brain circuit design unfold? How strong was the selective pressure that drove them? What are the functional advantages of a columnar organization of neocortical circuits? In my talk, I will show how a combination of mathematical theory and in vitro synthetic neural circuit experiments can shed a new light on these key questions in brain evolution.


The talk is open to the public. Guests are cordially invited!



28-06-2018: Prof. Ed Stern, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel

17-07-2018: Prof. Simon Schultz, Imperial College London, UK

31-07-2018: Prof. Dr. Johann Bollmann, University of Freiburg


Hansastraße 9a
79104 Freiburg im Breisgau